Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/11/2017 (1395 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
There were no cake or balloons in October to mark the 20th anniversary of Headingley’s Taylor Bridge, but not everyone realizes that the bridge is a special pilot project.
Manitoba Infrastructure’s executive director of structures Ruth Eden was the construction engineer on the bridge project 20 years ago that saw new technology incorporated in the 165-metre long structure — technology that is still used today.
Winnipeg’s Wardrop Engineering oversaw design of the bridge project and the Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence on Intelligent Sensing for Innovative Structures (ISIS Canada) at the University of Manitoba was involved. The bridge contains fibre reinforced polymer materials to reinforce bridge girders, the concrete bridge deck and traffic barrier. As well, a series of fibre optic sensors were installed to monitor the performance of the bridge sections that used the FRP materials as compared to conventional steel reinforcement. The fibre optic sensors allow the bridge to be monitored remotely to evaluate the effects of temperature, traffic loads and long-term behaviour.
Eden said the bridge on PTH 334 over the Assiniboine River was selected because of its location and use.
"We wanted to find a structure close to the city," she said. "We also wanted to find a route with a smaller volume of heavy truck traffic."
Taylor Bridge stands close to where a former truss bridge was demolished to make way for the new bridge. The river crossing dates farther back in local history as a ferry once crossed the river in the same area.
Eden said the bridge deck is reinforced with carbon fibre reinforced polymers and two girders are fully made with this material. The traffic barrier incorporates glass fibre reinforced polymers. The material’s properties help to reinforce concrete and add to its life by reducing corrosion that typically occurs in concrete structures.
"We don’t have any corrosion with the new material," Eden said, adding that the bridge’s life expectancy is 75 years.
Eden said the sensors have allowed U of M researchers and Infrastructure and Transportation staff to track Taylor Bridge’s performance, with an emphasis on seeing how temperature changes impact the structure.
While the Taylor Bridge was one of the first to use the ‘smart’ technology, it has since become more commonplace, Eden said, as bridges over the Winnipeg Floodway and other Manitoba locations were later built with fibre reinforced polymer materials and include sensors.
"The Taylor Bridge was the first with fibre reinforced polymer materials and sensors," Eden said.
Taylor Bridge was appropriately named in honour of one of Headingley’s first pioneers, John Taylor, who was the province’s first Minister of Agriculture and served as MLA in 1874 and 1878.
St. Vital community correspondent
Andrea Geary is a community correspondent for St. Vital and was once the community journalist for The Headliner.